John Eric Francia
CEO, AC Energy
SparkLabs Global Ventures
In the world of Korean startups, Jimmy Kim and the team at Seoul-based global accelerator SparkLabs are an interesting offering — a company of entrepreneurs helping other entrepreneurs find their feet.
SparkLabs was established in 2012 as a way to help boost Korea’s startup ecosystem, and since then has been supporting some of the country’s most innovative early-stage companies.
Kim has a number of startups of his own on his résumé. He was a founding investor in Studio Ex, an online gaming studio acquired by Disney in 2012. He is also a cofounder of N3N, an IoT enterprise software platform that was Cisco’s first global IoT investment.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, SparkLabs is not losing momentum. In April, the company said it had partnered with Shinhan Capital to launch a fund of just over $8 million to support early-stage startups. Kim says the money will be used primarily to invest in SparkLabs alumni and other early-stage startups.
“During this COVID-19 era, new sets of problems are arising and disrupting all aspects of our lives,” Kim tells Business Insider. “We have always believed in helping passionate startups who set out to solve serious problems with their unique insight and technology. We will pursue our mission of helping them in these challenging times.”